Sierra Club

Dear Friend,

Welcome to Fall and to the D.C. Chapter's e-newsletter, The Capital Sierran! After a summer hiatus, we will strive to deliver this newsletter to you once a month to provide a summary of news, listings for upcoming events, and volunteer opportunities. If this is the first time you're receiving this, welcome!  To ensure you will continue to receive this e-newsletter, please click here to subscribe. Be assured that your information is never sold or shared, and that you can always manage your email subscriptions through the Sierra Club website (see paragraph below on managing your online profile).


Call for Nominations for the 2012-2013 Chapter Executive Committee

It's that time of year, and the DC Chapter is soliciting nominations for the Chapter Executive Committee -- essentially the board for the chapter. This is a great opportunity to share and build your leadership skills as you help provide strategic direction for the chapter and participate actively in one or more critical areas such as membership, fundraising, event planning, volunteer engagement, communications, etc. Volunteer work with the chapter is a plus. We are a small chapter, and the ExComm functions as a "working board." Terms are 2 years, beginning in January 2012 through January 2013. Average time commitment is 10-15 hours/month.  If you would like to nominate yourself, or you would like more information, contact Jim Dougherty. Nominations close November 30.


Tell President Obama to Deny the Keystone XL Pipeline Permit

McKibben Rallys XL Pipeline Protesters
Bill McKibben (in front of banner) rallies
pipeline opponents outside the Reagan
Building. (Photo: Jim Dougherty)

Hundreds of people gathered in front of the Reagan Building in downtown DC October 7. Inside dozens spoke against the Keystone XL pipeline. Outside many more cheered as Bill McKibben and other anti-pipeline speakers spoke of the frustrations this project has created and the inspiration of thousands across the country who have come out against what many see as the tipping point in the fight to stop climate change.

"The Keystone XL pipeline is important because it would open a vast new reservoir of carbon-based energy at a time when we need to be closing strip mines, offshore oil wells, and coal-fired power plants," said Jim Dougherty, chapter conservation chair.

McKibben described the scene in his blog: "What incredible momentum: there was a huge crowd of people inside and outside of the State Department hearings in Washington, D.C. saying 'No' to the Keystone XL pipeline and 'Yes!' to a clean energy future. From Nebraska ranchers to DC residents to environmental scientists, people from all across America came together to demand that the State Department represent the national interest of the 99% — all of us who will feel the impacts of climate change and a wrecked environment — rather than the 1%, the oil executives and financiers who stand to benefit the tar sands and Keystone XL."

Take Action

SC arrestees.jpg
Seven Sierra Club leaders were among
1252 arrest in front of the White House. (LtoR):
Jim Turner, Missouri Chapter Chair; Jim
Dougherty, Director; Lisa Renstrom,
former President; Woody Martin, Louisiana
Chapter Chair; Allison Chin, former President
and Director; Gwyn Jones, DC Chapter Chair; 
Jim Sconyers, WV Chapter Chair.

The fight isn't over: on November 6, one year from Election Day 2012, McKibben is urging everyone who opposes the Keystone XL pipeline to join him in DC, where pipeline opponents will attempt to encircle the White House – in a legal manner to encourage as many people as possible to join in the protest. To sign up, click here.

In addition, people can call and/or write to the White House to urge President Obama to deny the pipeline permit: The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500 (Please include your e-mail address in your correspondence). Phone Number: 202-456-1111. Or you can go to (Read more here...)


Chapter Convenes Brainstorming Session for DC's Sustainability Plan

Some 20 chapter leaders and volunteers gathered at Harriet's in downtown DC on September 28 to help develop the Chapter's recommendations for the Mayor's Sustainable DC initiative, the goal of which is to "develop a strategy to make DC a greener, healthier, more livable city for all." The group worked through dozens of ideas, which chapter task force leaders Larry Martin, Julie Locascio and Jim Dougherty are refining for submission to the District. Individuals can still post and vote on ideas at the District's website. The District's page includes a calendar of upcoming meetings being led by a variety of organizations and associations to discuss the sustainability initiative.


DC Chapter Celebrates Victory over Potomac River Power Plant

Over the summer, we had great news: after a years-long campaign by Sierra Club activists from the Virginia and DC Chapters, an old polluter will be retired in Alexandria, Virginia. 

On August 30, Alexandria Mayor William D. Euille of Alexandria and GenOn Energy, Inc. announced the planned retirement of the Potomac River Generating Station, a 62-year-old, coal-fired power plant on the banks of the Potomac River in Alexandria. The announcement set the retirement date for October 1, 2012. 

Then, on Sept. 30, PJM, the regional electric power pool manager, concluded that the Potomac River plant could shut down without adverse effects on the reliability of local electricity. This was the major, if not the only, potential pothole on the path to closing the plant one year from now, according DC Chapter Conservation Chair Jim Dougherty.

Since 2003, the Sierra Club has worked on an extensive organizing campaign targeting the plant for responsible retirement due to its extensive health effects to the families of Washington, DC and Northern Virginia. Additional support came from Sierra Club's national Beyond Coal Campaign as it ramped up its presence in Virginia in 2009.

Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune hailed the announcement as "a triumph for the residents of Alexandria and the D.C area. Retiring this major source of pollution in our nation’s capital signals a huge symbolic step towards moving the nation beyond coal," Brune said, adding that the win didn’t happen overnight. "As the District of Columbia ramps up its reliance on solar power and energy efficiency, we should ensure that the workforce at the Potomac plant are responsibly transitioned into the clean energy sector," said Mary Anne Hitt, Director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign. "We should look at the retirement of this plant as an opportunity to create good jobs as well as cleaner air." (Read more here...)



Klingle Valley Fall
Fall is a great time for hiking in DC!
(Photo: Buffy Brownstein) 

Members and non-members alike can enjoy a range of outings offered through the DC Chapter and through the Club's Potomac Regional Outings (SCPRO) program, which serves the metro-DC region. Below are some selected hikes. To learn about other DC Events please vist our chapter calendar. To see all outings offered by PRO, please visit SCPRO's events listings.

Sat. October 15, 10:30 a.m. –Upper Rock Creek Park Hike. Leader: DC Chapter Excomm member Brock Evans.  

Sat. Nov. 5 -- National Arboretum (Get to Know DC). Leaders: Paul Elliott, 202/550-2841, and Frank Wodarczyk, 703/569-6737 (call before 10 p.m.). 

Sat. Nov. 19. Morning Bike Ride Mt. Vernon Trail, East Potomac Park, and Anacostia Riverwalk Trail, Washington, DC (Get to know DC). Leader: Russ Norfleet, 703/501-7953. 

Sun. Jan. 1. Rated B. 38th Annual New Year's Day Hike on C&O Canal Towpath. Leaders: Carol Ivory, Christine Ford, 703/425-6899 (call before 10 p.m.); Paul Elliott, 202/423-7913. 


Get Involved!

Want to find out how you can get involved with the chapter? Whether you are passionate about a particular issue or have a specific skill, including fundraising, event planning or writing, or you just want to help, you can make a real contribution to the chapter's work. For more information, contact Amanda Brinton / 202-363-4366.


Manage Your E-Subscriptions Online to Keep Up with Club News and Info

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Subscribe to The Capital Sierran to stay in the loop on all the news, events, and volunteer opertunities we have to offer at the D.C. Chapter.

Did you know you can manage the email you receive from the Sierra Club both locally and nationally at any time at Just go to the website and click on "About." In the drop-down menu you'll see "Log in or Register." If this is your first time, go ahead and register -- it's easy and it's quick. Once you're logged in, you'll see that you can manage your profile info, which e-info you want to subscribe (or unsubscribe) to and more. If you click on "Update Email Subscriptions" you'll see a list of all e-mail lists and campaigns that you can subscribe to. The ones you already get are checked off. To see local Washington, D.C., Chapter e-lists, be sure to click on the two folders, "Local Community Outreach" and "Local Sierra Club Newsletters." Simply check the items you want and uncheck the items you don't. You can adjust your settings at any time. Thanks for staying in touch!


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Sierra Club - Washington D.C. Chapter
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